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Author Topic: COMMUNICATION: D.E.A.R.M.A.N. technique  (Read 18098 times)
an0ught
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« on: November 20, 2011, 09:06:43 AM »

After wandering in the FOG for a longer time we have lost the natural instincts and ability to ask for something. Fear is controlling our thinking. Our partner is super sensitive and tends to over-react. We get ever more careful, stopping to ask for things needed in our or our relationship's interest. Resentment breeds. Resentment is sensed. Communication grinds to a halt. How do we get back to normal? A big step is start asking again for what is needed and this is where D.E.A.R.M.A.N can help us.

D.E.A.R.M.A.N. - Marsha Linehan, MD published the DEARMAN in 1993 as part of her DBT training manual.

D= Describe the current situation. Tell the person exactly what you are reacting to. Stick to the facts.

E= Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.

A= Assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no clearly. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.

R= Reinforce the reward to the person ahead of time. Tell the person the positive effects of getting what you want or need. Help the person feel good ahead of time for doing what you want.

M= Mindfully keep your focus on your objectives. Maintain your position. Don’t be distracted.

A= Appear Confident. Use a confident voice tone and physical manner; make good eye contact. No stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, retreating, saying “I’m not sure,” etc.

N= Negotiate by being willing to give to get. Offer and ask for alternative solutions to the problem. What am I willing to “settle for” or “give up” in order to gain what I want in the situation?


D.E.A.R.M.A.N. is used when you have an objective, you want something specific, such as to get more sleep, to have help with the chores, to affect a change or to say NO to a request. You want the other person to come away feeling good about you and not full of resentment. This preserves the relationship. You also want to protect or even enhance your self respect.



Have you practiced DEARMAN and in what situation and how did it go? Do you have something you want to happen and you wonder whether this is a case of DEARMAN? Are you confused when to use S.E.T., DEARMAN or Boundaries? There is certainly a lot you would like to have, happen or changed...
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artman.1
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 02:54:05 AM »

AO,
I am trying to communicate with her, and try to get her understanding of what I am dealing with, and try to get some cooperation.  If DEARMAN can help me approach her with this I would be forever greatful.  So, I was asking for maybe an example or two to help me formulate my approach.

Thank You,
Art
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an0ught
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 02:22:48 PM »

Hi Artman,

try to get her understanding of what I am dealing with,
sharing your views may be better done using SET. You are not really asking her to do anything specific here.

and try to get some cooperation.
this is too vague. Concrete objectives are needed to get anything...

Do you have any concrete objectives in your mind. Some tangible behavior?
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irishsob
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 07:46:15 AM »

This was helpful and the timing was good too. I just went through yet another weekend where what should've been, could've been a simple conversation about a relatively minor issue turned into the typical acting out, lashing out, etc. And, once again, I got caught up in it and let my emotions take over. Thankfully, we managed to calm things down. Then I needed to bring up another issue which was definitely more emotionally laden and fraught with potential escalation. I had been logging on again and reviewing the tools. I used a combination of DEARMAN and SET to convey my concern and desire with the particular issue. While it was met with some lack of understanding it most definitely went much more calmly. I was very nervous about bringing up what I knew to be a hot-button issue but I also knew I could not let my fear prevent me from expressing what I was observing and seeking a different way of handling it. I remained non-judgmental even when W's responses were clearly indicative of a singular, emotionally-driven mindset.
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an0ught
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 11:41:51 AM »

This was helpful and the timing was good too. I just went through yet another weekend where what should've been, could've been a simple conversation about a relatively minor issue turned into the typical acting out, lashing out, etc. And, once again, I got caught up in it and let my emotions take over. Thankfully, we managed to calm things down. Then I needed to bring up another issue which was definitely more emotionally laden and fraught with potential escalation. I had been logging on again and reviewing the tools. I used a combination of DEARMAN and SET to convey my concern and desire with the particular issue. While it was met with some lack of understanding it most definitely went much more calmly. I was very nervous about bringing up what I knew to be a hot-button issue but I also knew I could not let my fear prevent me from expressing what I was observing and seeking a different way of handling it. I remained non-judgmental even when W's responses were clearly indicative of a singular, emotionally-driven mindset.

 Doing the right thing smiley
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newworld
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 12:10:33 PM »

D= Describe the current situation. Tell the person exactly what you are reacting to. Stick to the facts.

E= Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.

A= Assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no clearly. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.

R= Reinforce the reward to the person ahead of time. Tell the person the positive effects of getting what you want or need. Help the person feel good ahead of time for doing what you want.

M= Mindfully keep your focus on your objectives. Maintain your position. Don’t be distracted.

A= Appear Confident. Use a confident voice tone and physical manner; make good eye contact. No stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, retreating, saying “I’m not sure,” etc.

N= Negotiate by being willing to give to get. Offer and ask for alternative solutions to the problem. What am I willing to “settle for” or “give up” in order to gain what I want in the situation?
----------------------------------------------

I used DEARMAN last night

D- I had a print out of dates where events occurred - these are indesputable because they are all in e mail-  

may 12 you e mailed me X

may 15 you e mailed me Y

e- I expressed that this was the information I was going off of when I responded to him.

A- I asserted myself by doing the above

R- I encouraged him that this was something that might help him. I explained this might be useful for him to take a look at as he might find it interesting and as context.  He was wowed that he didn't remember it that way- his own words- he settled in to the conversation engaged -

M- I knew I wanted to help change the perspective so that at a later date I could open the conversation to how this behavior affects me -

A- I was very confident

N- there was nothing long term to negotiate at that point. the negotiation is much later - months from now.

The short term goal was to ask him to look at the facts, then see my point of view based on those.

Success!

But pwbpd can;t handle more than this right now- and that's ok- baby steps.

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toomanyeggshells
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 01:04:26 PM »

Are you confused when to use S.E.T., DEARMAN or Boundaries?
SET is for explaining my position on something, boundaries are rules for myself and DEARMAN is for having a conversation about something that I need or want to change.  Is that right?

UFN, I read your explanation of the points of DEARMAN and it seems hard to remember it all.  I guess it comes with practice.  I can, however, see just from reading the explanation how it can help facilitate a conversation.  I'm willing to try anything that can help.  

It would be helpful to have some examples of conversations or situations in which its used.  Anyone?

Thanks UFN for the helpful info.  smiley
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2011, 02:36:11 PM »

I used DEARMAN with a particularly difficult topic over the summer -- both with my SO and her OSO -- and it went very well. I got what I asked for out of it, and it really helped me to be less nervous about having the conversation in the first place, because I had practiced what I actually needed to say and didn't just launch into it in some long and rambling way.

I had been invited on camping trip by friends that was a revisiting of a place we'd camped two years prior. I enjoyed the trip then, but it was after my exH and I had split up, and it was our first time both of us camping with a group and being in separate tents. I remember I had to buy some new camping gear before it because we'd split ours up during the divorce.

So, this new camping trip came up, and I RSVPed yes. I invited my SO, and she said she'd like to go with me. Then, friends of ours began inviting other mutual friends, and before long it was becoming a trip where it would be kind of weird not to invite my SO's OSO also. She knew probably a dozen of the people going, though most of them were people she had met through me, and no one was specifically inviting her because I think they were waiting to see whether I would. I had the feeling that I wouldn't mind inviting her, but I didn't want to share my partner with her on such a trip. If she went, I'd like it to be in addition to me and my SO going together as a couple as already planned -- i.e., no awkwardness about us being together, being affectionate, no trying to balance the time equally and all of that BS. It was also complicated by the fact that she was planning her own trip to another state the following week, and I didn't even know whether she'd consider going or not.

So, I asked my SO's OSO to meet me for a drink after work and let her know there was something I was a little nervous about but wanted to discuss with her in terms of planning and whatnot. I used DEARMAN to get myself ready for the talk, and then I basically repeated my thoughts out loud to her.

Describe: I described how the invitation had come about, that the situation was making me feel awkward, that I felt it was something we should talk about, etc.

Express: I expressed that I had emotions related to this particular camping trip and camping site (e.g., that I'd had an awkward time there in the past because of my split with my exH and didn't want to have an awkward time again because of our complicated relationship situation; that I wanted to be able to invite my SO on group outings like any normal couple without feeling responsible for everyone else's feelings; that I had been specifically invited and had invited my SO early and didn't particularly want to change the feeling of this trip; that I might prefer not to go rather than go and have it be all kinds of awkward; I expressed that I actually thought the OSO might enjoy going on the trip, too, but that I hadn't been sure how to broach the topic, etc.).

Assert: I invited her to come if she thought she would be able to enjoy it but that I did not want to do any awkward time balancing/tent swapping/whatever. I asked for this to be me and my SO's camping trip together, regardless of whether the OSO thought she might want to go as well.

Reinforce: I let her know that I thought we all deserved to have this sort of thing -- that my SO and her would be going on their own trip the following month, that this would allow me and my SO to have a much needed opportunity to be a relaxed couple around our friends, that I understood they might have such things come up in the future themselves and would respect a request for it to be their private trip (they do occasionally get invited to stuff like a dinner party, and I don't feel it's their responsibility to automatically extend the invitation to me), etc.

Mindful: I kept my mind on this topic, rather than getting all worked up about whether I was discussing it in the best order or how unusual it was or what she might be thinking or whatever.

Appear confident: I didn't back down from my request. I considered it the adult thing to do: discuss your situation/feelings and ask for what you actually want.

Negotiate: I didn't need to negotiate in the end, but there was some mention of that (e.g., that if this was a problem for her, and she was unable to respect the request, I would know that and act accordingly, possibly by just not going if it didn't feel comfortable for me; that in the future, I would be happy to listen as she directly asked for something she wanted, etc.)

In the end, it all worked out quite well. Our conversation went well. We ordered another drink and walked home together afterward. It was uncomfortable, but I felt heard. My SO and I went camping with my friends, it wasn't the big huge group that it could have been, we had a good time (mostly; we did have some problem areas for sure), I felt more confident in myself for being able to handle the situation as an adult, etc. My SO's OSO did not go, and she and my SO had a little extra time between our camping trip and the OSO's trip to the other place, and if the OSO has any lasting hurt from this, I haven't heard about it and it's her responsibility to manage that and talk about it as needed.

It may have helped that the OSO herself does not seem to be personality disordered in any way, but I felt it was good practice for me regardless and a good way to reduce my anxiety. I essentially framed things the same way when discussing it with my girlfriend, and it helped there, too.

There are numerous conversations we've had go south that when I think back on them, I know DEARMAN would have helped tremendously.



My acronym OSO  stands for "other significant other." My uBPDso has another SO besides me. Theirs is a platonic relationship, but it's as involved a "partnership" as mine is with my SO, and the three of us all live together (for the time being; this is changing in the next two weeks -- yay!).

The OSO is very insecure and has a hard time understanding that she is important and valuable to my SO, and that their relationship can be respected as important, without everything being equal all of the time. Me stating that I wanted not to have to worry about time being evenly spent and so on was not something she wanted to hear. But DEARMAN helped.
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ScarletOlive
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 05:41:28 PM »

The DEARMAN technique is really wonderful. It works in all relationships, whether with persons with BPD, coworkers, bosses, friends and relatives. When my BPDmom has said something very hurtful, it helps me to focus on the steps in my head and then go through them like a mental checklist.

D-Mom, when you said hit__ to me,

E-I felt hurt and put down.

A-Will you please not say that anymore?

R-I want us to have a good relationship and not have hurtful conflicts pulling us apart.

M-If she blames me or minimizes, I try my best to stay present, and calmly state my side.

A-Heh, it's hard for me to appear confident with my mom. It helps to remind myself that I'm an adult and that I'm worth it. Then I do a body scan to see if I'm looking like someone who deserves respect. Looking the part helps her and me feel it.

N-If she wants me to apologize for something, I do that. Often, if I'm agreeable, and we're both calm, it can work out.
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 08:07:14 PM »

R

Is the one I've had issues with. I didn't even know about "dearman" but was doing something similar to this.

E & R triiped me up the most.

When I got to E, his attitude was basically this---(in a nutshell) he is rude/nasty-- I react= that is my problem , he is not responsible for my feelings...  
Well he really got me there. He is right. He's not responsible for my feelings, but he is responsible for causing the situation/words that triggered my feelings.
I couldn't get my head around the idea that you can take that attitude. Call someone a nasty name, they cry, you tell them their tears are not your responsibility. They made themselves sad.

Well he's into psychology and all that...   but he twists it. I feel like a fool when he does this.

R---- I don't really have anything to enforce or reward. He just goes into "I don't care" mode & presses the "cut-off" switch so many people here talk about.

He's pretty smart actually.

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